Chris Stark to leave Climate Change Committee for lead role at Carbon Trust

Thu 11 January 2024 View all news

Chris Stark is to leave the Climate Change Committee at the end of April to take up a new role as Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust. As head of the CCC, he has been the chief climate adviser to Government and Parliament since April 2018, a period in which the UK has substantially advanced its climate ambitions.

Under Stark’s leadership, the Committee recommended a UK Net Zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Net Zero was made law in 2019, making the UK the first major economy in the world to do so.

While Chris Stark has been at the helm, the CCC has provided independent advice on the detailed path to Net Zero for the UK, in the Sixth Carbon Budget advice. The UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget was legislated in June 2021.

In 2021, the Climate Change Committee published the UK’s third Climate Change Risk Assessment. This outlined the priorities for the Governments of the UK, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to respond to the climate risks faced in the UK.

Chris Stark has overseen the production of over 100 publications, including six UK progress reports. He supported Lord Deben in the last five years in the position of Chair until Professor Piers Forster took up his current role as interim Chair in 2023. 

Chris Stark was a keynote speaker at Zemo Partnership's 20th Anniversary Conference, held at City Hall last summer (see picture). Lord Deben has recently taken on the role of Chair of the Council for Net Zero Transport, which is being convened by Zemo Partnership.

Professor Piers Forster said: “The Committee is incredibly grateful to Chris for his contribution over the last six years. His supportive leadership for the secretariat has helped us develop a world-class analytical team and deepened our analysis of the UK response to climate change. Acting as a powerful voice for the Committee, he has ensured our advice has been heard widely and with style.

“Chris has been a dedicated public servant, working with multiple Governments of the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He has ensured the Committee has provided apolitical, science-based advice of the highest quality. We have achieved a lot in his tenure. He has been great to work alongside and we wish him the best in his exciting next role.”

Chris Stark said: “It’s been a privilege to lead the Climate Change Committee team over such an important period. I’m so proud of the analysis and advice we have produced in the last six years.

“The dedication and professionalism of the CCC team, coupled with the vast knowledge of our Committee members are central to the organisation’s success. The CCC is in great shape for its next phase of work. I’ll continue to be one of its loudest supporters.”

Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho said: “I want to thank Chris Stark for his work at the Climate Change Committee and I wish him all the best for the future.

“During his leadership, he has seen many advances – including becoming the first major economy to put our net zero commitments into law, with the UK becoming the first country in the G20 to halve its carbon emissions.” 

The CCC’s Chief Economist James Richardson, will serve as interim Chief Executive until a permanent replacement is recruited. An advertisement for the role can be found here.

Image: Chris Stark speaking at Zemo Partnership 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2023


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